Home » Military Personnel » Retired Captain, 2 CPOs Indicted in Continuing ‘Fat Leonard’ Investigation

Retired Captain, 2 CPOs Indicted in Continuing ‘Fat Leonard’ Investigation

Then Capt. David Haas. US Navy Photo

A retired captain and former 7th Fleet official pocketed at least $145,000 in exchange for steering Navy ships to ports where a foreign defense contractor managed port husbanding services, a federal grand jury alleged in an indictment issued Friday in San Diego in the latest in the ongoing probe into Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

Capt. David W. Haas, 50, of Kailua, Hawaii, was charged with eight counts, including bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit ‘honest services’ fraud for allegedly accepting money, luxurious travel, hotel accommodations and food as well as prostitutes’ services from Leonard Francis, GDMA’s owner and chief executive, according to an announcement by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California.

Two retired chief petty officers – Master Chief Petty Officer Ricarte I. David and Chief Petty Officer Brooks A. Parks – also were indicted by the federal grand jury on Aug. 16.

David, 61, of Tarlac Province, Philippines, allegedly approved “GDMA’s fraudulently inflated ship husbanding invoices” for ships’ port visits in exchange for cash, hotel rooms, and prostitutes from Francis in a scheme dating back to 2005, prosecutors announced.

Parks, 46, of Naples, Italy, is accused of “providing sensitive and proprietary U.S. Navy information, including competitor pricing and U.S. Navy ship and personnel movement information, among others,” in exchange for receiving gifts, lavish hotel suites and airline tickets from Francis.

The men face potential prison sentences and $250,000 fines if convicted on any of the charges.

The so-called “Fat Leonard” Navy bribery and fraud scandal has netted charges against 32 defendants – including retired flag and senior officers – with 20 already pleading guilty to various charges, officials said. Leonard’s Singapore-based GDMA provided services such as tugboats, security, fuel, food, water and trash removal during port visits in Asia-Pacific, visits he allegedly arranged after plying Navy officials with cash and luxurious gifts. Arrested in 2013, Francis reportedly made a plea deal but prosecutors haven’t detailed his fate.

“The trio reciprocated by using their influence within the Navy’s Seventh Fleet to approve inflated invoices by GDMA, to steer ships to GDMA-controlled ports and otherwise advance the interests of Francis and GDMA,” U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman said in the announcement. “The indictment further alleges that they and their co-conspirators used their access to slip GDMA classified and proprietary U.S. Navy information, and helped GDMA recruit other U.S. Navy officers to join the conspiracy.”

Haas spent several tours assigned in 7th Fleet and served as the operations officer, N3, aboard the command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) from August 2011 to July 2013.

The 20-page indictment against Haas includes numerous infractions. Prosecutors allege that:

On Nov. 5, 2011, Francis “took Haas and others to dinner at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo, Japan, and provided them with prostitutes at a cost of more than $20,000.”

From May 11-15, 2012, “Francis paid for rooms at the Shangri-La in Jakarta, Indonesia, plus dinner, entertainment at a nightclub, alcohol and prostitutes for Haas and others.”

From June 29-30, 2012, in Tokyo, “Francis paid for a two-day party for Haas and others including transportation, dinner at Nobu Restaurant and entertainment at several hostess clubs where the services of prostitutes were provided, at a cost of more than $75,000.”

The indictment also alleges that on Nov. 30, 2012, Haas joined his alleged co-conspirator, Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz, in a Francis-paid car and driver to take them from Yokosuka to the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, where Francis was staying at the time.

Undated photo of Leonard Francis

“In Francis’s room, with Haas present, Misiewicz handed Francis an envelope of classified long-range Seventh Fleet ship schedules, CTF-70 ship schedules, and Seventh Fleet organization charts,” the indictment states. “The schedules were stamped ‘SECRET’ and projected ship visits approximately 14 months in advance. Those classified schedules included information related to U.S. Navy ballistic missile defense operations in the Pacific and remains classified.”

“After reviewing the ship schedules, Francis, Haas and Misiewicz pored over the Seventh Fleet organizational chart, which Haas and Misiewicz had brought with them, in an effort to identify and evaluate potential successors to the corrupt relationship with Francis when Misiewicz departed the Seventh Fleet, the following month, in December 2012. Following these discussions, Francis took Haas and Misiewicz to a strip club where food and prostitutes were provided at a cost of approximately $7,000.”

Misiewicz, a captain-select at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty in 2016 to bribery charges and was sentenced to 78 months in prison. He was fined $100,000 and ordered to forfeit $95,000.

David, who retired in May 2012, allegedly collected about $40,000 in cash as he conspired to commit fraud with Francis starting in 2005, according to the eight-page indictment. The CPO served aboard amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) from July 2004 to August 2007, aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) from September 2007 to August 2008 and the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73) from September 2008 to July 2010. “In these positions, DAVID was responsible for ordering and 27 verifying goods and services for the ships on which he served, including 28 from contractors during port calls,” the indictment states.

The document outlined a scheme where David demanded from Francis things “including cash, gifts, entertainment, hotel expenses and the services of prostitutes,” while in return, “David would use his position and influence in the U.S. Navy to advocate for and advance GDMA’s interests, as opportunities arose.”

David is accused of approving or helping approve inflated, fraudulent invoices and giving Francis and others sensitive and classified Navy information, and he pocketed cash and favors including pricey hotel suites. The indictment notes several email exchanges David had with Francis asking for cash, including one where he wrote, “if you can please help me out with some ($cash) I really need some help to build my retirement home.”

Parks, who retired in January 2016, served as a logistics lead petty officer on the 7th Fleet staff from December 2005 to November 2008, then was assigned to the Afloat Training Group-Western Pacific until May 2013.

According to the eight-page indictment, Parks was part of “a material scheme” and “would demand, seek, receive, and accept things of value from Francis and others, including gifts, transportation, hotel expenses, and airline tickets. In return for these things of value, PARKS would agree to use his position and influence with the U.S. Navy to advance GDMA’s interests, as opportunities arose. In return for these things of value, PARKS would provide GDMA with internal, proprietary U.S. Navy information as well as confidential information about GDMA’s competitors.”

In one 2006 email exchange to a GDMA executive asking for a hotel suite for his vacation, “Parks wrote: ‘It feels good living like a KING on an E-6’s salary!!!’” the indictment states.

Haas, David and Parks are scheduled to be arraigned at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 30, in San Diego, according to their summons posted on the court’s website.

  • proudrino

    If you’re going mess up your life by commiting bribery, conspiracy, and fraud….. $145K in hotel rooms and hookers seems to be a very low ROI.

    • DaSaint

      Agree. Now multiply this by worldwide deployments and the extent of possible fraud, and cost to the taxpayer will be determined.

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      Could not agree more.

  • Duane

    It is not shocking that one or a few sailors corrupted themselves. What is shocking is that so many were corrupted, up to very senior fleet command staff and even the NIS. That Francis was able to penetrate and corrupt NIS is what gave him free rein to corrupt so many others. When conscienteous and brave sailors alerted NIS to the corruption of their peers and superiors, his guys in NIS managed to intercept and deep six the complaints before they could be investigated.

    That is why, sadly, the Navy was unable to clean up their own scandal, with the Grand Jury in San Diego having to step in and deal with it.

    The current naval leadership needs to demonstrate to Congress sufficient safeguards so as to never allow this kind of stuff to be repeated.

    • SN

      You have to wonder if Fat Leonard was working for himself, or for another government.

    • proudrino

      The most shocking part of this sordid chapter in the scandal is the Seventh Fleet N3 and N3B reviewing the long-range ship schedules, discussing potential successors to the conspiracy, and then going out for $7K worth of food and prostitution.

      This aspect of the scandal doesn’t lend itself to “safeguards” because Haas and Misiewicz were in positions of trust. In other words they were the safeguards for the information they betrayed. Holding a security clearance and a commission comes with a certain amount of inherent trust that the individual will act with integrity and uphold their oath of office.

  • Ed L

    Bust them all to seaman recruit and cleaning bilges and tanks out till they died

  • Geezer

    I would think that a site like USNI would not post a photo of someone wearing COMMANDER collar devices and caption it “The-CAPTAIN David Haas” Small point ..but USNI?

    • proudrino

      I saw the same thing but the USNI management doesn’t care about that stuff. They should but I’m willing to bet that outside the lofty positions within the organization, none of them have actually served in the sea services or even the military. Reporting on the military is not the same thing as caring about these discrepancies.

      I mean no disrespect here. I am sure the employees of USNI care about the Navy and producing a good product. That being said, far too often these discrepancies arise. Perhaps VADM Daly, as CEO, should be contacted with our concerns. I only suggest this because comments here go nowhere.

  • b2

    Throw the book (UCMJ) at them…finally..maybe? Look at the dates of the evidence…unbelievable this investigation has been going on 6 friggin years… I mean how much is this being eked out parcel by parcel.

    Seems everyone on the 7th fleet or CSG staff/logistics or any operational ship COs/staff who had to make arrangements for port visits/replenishmant is guilty by association because of that institution of WestPac- Fat Leonard. Literally thousands…

    Seems this is a jobs program for Navy JAG, or maybe Mr. Mueller is running it..Aint there and end to it? Is it possible the failures of the past couple years- ship handling, etc. leading to sailors death are the natural outcome after such an investigation? Think about it.

  • Lance Don

    Fat Leonard and several others were reported in 1990’s to the XO, CSC and NCIS at NRCC Singapore; 7th fleet, CINCPACFLT, SURFPAC, COMNAVAIRPAC and NMPC, for offering and providing bribes and kickbacks to NRCC civilians and military. Mr. Chin (NRCC Thailand’s husbanding agent before fat boy) was reported to the same commands in 1988 through 1994 for doing the same. The State Departments DAO’s in Thailand, Philippines, Australia and Indonesia were also reported for accepting “gifts” and supporting contractors over charges and price fixing. Several DAO’s were actually relieved, but simply allowed to retire and usually replaced by like minded military. Good old boys (ring knockers) protecting good old boys. The military and DoD continue even today covering up for the Fat Leonard’s of the world and hundreds of others. In 2011…the theft of thousands ($20K+) in MWR funds and other fraud, waste and abuse (FWA) issues were reported to NCIS at NAS Pensacola. Their response…they had “bigger fish to fry and were too short of staff to chase these small FWA concerns”. Look up the Army’s very first Sergeant Major…he and his buddies skimmed millions from slot machines in Nam and various other military commands in the 60’s. He not only stayed on active duty after being caught, he retired with full bennies. Nothing changes but the names of the players.

  • tom dolan

    Well knowing the Navy only the two former Chiefs will ever do prison time. The ring knockers will rally around the conspicuously unnamed Flag Officers to ensure they receive a sharp tap on the wrist with perhaps a hint that early and silent retirement is their recommended career path.